31 Count Jo Kata – Morihiro Saito Sensei Iwama
The instructions below explain the movements displayed by Saito Sensei.
Solo 31 Jo Kata1-6
|Left posture. Raise Jo in a circular thrust to the left.
|Change to back posture bringing Jo up in a rising block.
|Swing Jo into a forward thrust.
|Change to back posture bringing Jo up in a rising block and rotate Jo in a circular motion above the head.
|Strike to opponents left side with a right circular blow.
|Strike to opponents right side with a left circular blow.
Solo 31 Jo Kata 6-12
|Change from left forward posture into right posture by a Tai Sabaki to your right side and make a downward strike to your opponents head.
|From right posture Tai Sabaki to your right into left posture and strike at your opponents right side with a downward circular blow.
|Continue the strike through towards the opponents shins and end up in left posture with Jo pointing to the rear.
|Step through with right leg raising Jo to a Jodan block.
|Swing Jo down right side of body in a complete circle and strike Shomen.
|Change to back stance and withdraw Jo.
Solo 31 Jo Kata 12-26
|Strike Tsuki towards opponents chest.
|Raising Jo above head rotate 180 degrees and strike Shomen.
|Backwards strike to opponents knees.
|Swing Jo at waist height to strike opponents legs.
|Rotate Jo to a back guard position.
|Strike forward to opponents knees.
|Raise Jo and pivot above head to strike Shomen.
|Dropping onto left knee strike back towards opponents shins.
|Transfer Jo to right hand side of body, keeping in right posture.
|Thrust forward at chest height, step through with left foot. Rotate Jo, then slide left foot back.
|Slide left foot forward and thrust at chest height.
|Pull Jo back and thrust at head height.
|Sweep Jo to rear.
|Solo 31 Jo Kata 26-31
|Step through with right foot, sweeping Jo to strike at knee.
|Swing Jo up, thrust forward at head height.
|Rotate Jo in front of body.
|Slide right foot back and lunge forward with thrust at chest height.
|Rotate Jo down right hand side of body. Step forward with left foot (keep same hand grip). Strike Shomen with Kiai.
|Return to start position with Zanshin.
Paired 31 Jo Kata (Kumi Jo)
Throughout this description You are ‘doing’ the kata side, He/Him is ‘doing’ the “awase”. read and perform the kata left to right in the table below.
Based against a revised description by Jonathan Diesch the Red script shows how it is described in the solo version.
|Attacker / Uke / Him
|Defender / Tori / You
|Starting in Left posture, he makes a straight thrust to your chest.
| Starting Left posture, you step off the line to your Left and make a reverse thrust over his jo, to the chest.
(Left posture. Raise Jo in a circular thrust to the left.)
|Stepping back, and slightly left, he rotates his jo to cause a deflection of yours, taking your balance to your rear Left, and then makes a straight thrust to your face.
| Stepping to your Right, you raise your jo to protect your face, and block upwards, cocking your wrists as you do so, to keep contact, and stop his jo flying off into space. From here rotate your jo from under his to on top, and strike it down, taking his balance to his front Right, and…
(Change to back posture bringing Jo up in a rising block.)
| Thust to his Left floating ribs.
(Swing Jo into a forward thrust.)
|Keeping the end of his jo low, he steps back into Right posture, and turns his hips towards you, blocking your strike with his jo vertical. From here he makes a spiral movement with his jo, that brings on-line with your face, and takes your jo, and your balance, to your rear Left. Then he makes a straight thrust at your face.
| You avoid this thrust by making a BIG step to your Right, across the line, raising the jo to protect your face, NOT blocking him! As you bring the jo up, allow your back hand to slide into the middle of the stick, then let go with your front hand so that you can rotate the jo through 180 deg. catch the end again, step forward and…
(Change to back posture bringing Jo up in a rising block and rotate Jo in a circular motion above the head.)
| make a straight cut (shomen).
(Strike to opponents left side with a right circular blow.)
|stepping back, he absorbs your cut by making an identical cut to yours, in mirror-image.
|(Strike to opponents right side with a left circular blow.)
| So drop the end of the jo to your Right, step forward, around the end of his jo, and cut again. You should now be in Left hanmi.
(Change from left forward posture into right posture by a Tai Sabaki to your right side and make a downward strike to your opponents head.)
|he makes another identical cut, but is a little slow with it, this time you catch his jo, and send him off-balance to his rear Left. He should now be in Left hanmi.
|You now pivot to face the opposite direction, and make a straight cut to an imaginary persons’ head. (From right posture Tai Sabaki to your right into left posture and strike at your opponents right side with a downward circular blow.)
|he recovers his balance, and attempts a straight thrust at your back.
|You step forward, making shomen again.
|he raises his jo to hit you on the head, stepping forward into Right posture.
|You are in Left posture, Left hand forward on the jo. You raise the end of your jo to your front Left, and then make (kaiten-ashi) by pivoting on the balls of you feet through 180 deg. then stepping FORWARD with your Left foot. As you do this swing the jo round, and down diagonally, to strike at his knees. Ensure that you turn your wrists over so that you PUSH the jo round not pull it. If you pull you cannot stop the jo easily. Do not allow the jo to go further than 90 deg past his knees. (Continue the strike through towards the opponents shins and end up in left posture with Jo pointing to the rear. Step through with right leg raising Jo to a Jodan block.)
|with his jo still raised he steps back (quickly!) then steps in again to strike your head.
|Step forward on your L foot, bringing the jo up horizontally under his elbows, to prevent him cutting you, IRL you go under his chin, or put the tip straight in his throat.
|now drop the end of your jo, allowing him to finish his cut, stepping round to your L, and making shomen. Swing Jo down right side of body in a complete circle and strike Shomen.
|he avoids being hit by drawing back, and meeting your strike,
|You are now in L posture, so is he. This is a neutral position. Release the jo with your L (back) hand, uncross your hands and grip the jo firmly, pointing towards him maintaining zanshin.(Change to back stance and withdraw Jo.)
|he does the same as 12.
|Step forward, Left posture, and thrust to his chest. (Strike Tsuki towards opponents chest.)
|he steps to his R, and spirals under your jo, as in no 2a, then thrusts at your face.
|Step across to your R, and avoid the jo as in no 4
|Make shomen as no 5. (Raising Jo above head rotate 180 degrees and strike Shomen.) (Backwards strike to opponents knees.)
|he steps back, and makes a mirror image shomen, as no 5a. He is now in R posture, with the R hand forward.
|To avoid having the end of your jo smashed by his shomen, pull the jo back along your L side. Pull the jo with your back hand, through the front until the end of the jo is in your front hand, then push the jo through the back hand with your front. If you do this in reverse you will get your hand broken! Keep the jo in close to your body, with the front R hand at about chest height. You should be in R hanmi.
|Now step forward with your L foot, around his jo, and punch it forwards to strike his R knee. (Swing Jo at waist height to strike opponents legs.) (Rotate Jo to a back guard position.)
|he steps back into L posture, and simultaneously turns his hand over, allowing the end of the jo to drop, he puts his left hand in front of the R, and slides the R hand to the back of the jo. This blocks the knee strike, and exposes you to…
|he draws his jo back, and makes a straight thrust at your knee/thigh
|you step forward and to the R, turn to face him, and rotate your jo through 180 deg. to strike his stick down with the back end, being carefull to keep the jo at an upward angle so that he is knocked down and away from you. This also exposes his leg, so…
| Draw back slightly, and thrust at his ANKLE. (Strike forward to opponents knees.)
(Raise Jo and pivot above head to strike Shomen.)
|he steps back, drawing his L foot out of the way, and turning to face you, as he does this he lifts the back end of his jo, so that is vertical, and blocks your ankle thrust to the side. At this point he thinks he can hit you on the head, so raises his jo for shomen uchi.
|You raise your jo to protect your head,but then realise that you can hit his R knee, so step forward and to your R, turning L to face him, and strike to the back of his knee, dropping onto one knee as you do so. (Dropping onto left knee strike back towards opponents shins.)
|having raised his jo above his head for shomen, he sees you going instead for his knee, so steps back to withdraw the leg, and swings the jo back down to block your strike vertically.
|You pull you jo back against your side, to avoid it being hit, as in no 16. (Transfer Jo to right hand side of body, keeping in right posture.)
|he raises the jo to make a straight strike to your head.
|You are in R posture, sitting on your L leg, you stand up and step forward, bringing the back end of the jo forward, to thrust at his chest. (Thrust forward at chest height, step through with left foot. Rotate Jo, then slide left foot back.)
|to avoid this thrust he pivots his lead foot, turning off the line, and facing you. the jo is still raised. He then slides the jo though his hands to thrust downwards at your chest, over the top of your jo.
|You step to your R side, turning to face him, and rotate the jo vertically through 180 deg. to strike his jo downwards and away from you, exposing his side. (Slide left foot forward and thrust at chest height.)
|You make a straight thrust at his L side. (Pull Jo back and thrust at head height.)
|he pivots to his R, avoiding the thrust, then back to his original position, at the same time he drops the end of his jo under yours, and spirals it over the top, knocking you off balance to your front and L, this is similar to nos 2a and 13a, only upside down.
|You draw your jo back to regain your posture, and make another straight thrust to his ribs. (Sweep Jo to rear.)
|he turns to his L again, this time rotating the jo through 180 deg. vertically to strike your stick down. He then makes a straight thrust to your face.
|You make a BIG step back and slightly off the line to your R pulling the stick back to your R side, as in no 16
|Now step forward, punching the jo forwards to strike his knee as in no 17. You are now in R posture. (Step through with right foot, sweeping Jo to strike at knee.)
|he steps back, dropping the front end of his jo to block
|Step forward, and to your L, moving past the end of his jo, and raise your jo ABOVE your head, so that you can thrust downwards at his chest/neck, with the lower end. (Swing Jo up, thrust forward at head height.)
|he lifts the front end of his jo to vertical, and steps back, avoiding the thrust. As he does so, he strikes the end of your jo sideways, and he finishes with the jo held vertically, to side of his head (hasso no kamae (?))
|When your jo is stuck sideways, allow it to rotate HORIZONTALLY through 180 deg. then drop the jo down to a mid-level position, and… (Rotate Jo in front of body.)
|thust at his chest (chudan tsuki). (Slide right foot back and lunge forward with thrust at chest height.)
|he steps off the line to his R, and makes a straight strike to the end of your jo.
|Absorb the force of his strike, letting the jo travel naturally around your body, step forward and to your L, turning to face him, and strike him powerfully across the back of his head, (Rotate Jo down right hand side of body. Step forward with left foot (keep same hand grip). Strike Shomen with Kiai.) You should finish in L posture, with your right hand forward on the jo. He in R posture, with his R hand forward on the jo.(Return to start position with Zanshin.)